Utah police seize furniture in dead babies case
SALT LAKE CITY — Police have seized several items of furniture from the homes of family members of a Utah woman accused of killing six of her newborns, according to documents made public Monday.
Several search warrant affidavits show police retrieved a bed, chest of drawers, a writing desk and various documents after Megan Huntsman, 39, told investigators in early April that she had given birth to the babies at home and killed them over a decade.
The items seized by investigators belonged to Huntsman but had been stored with her mother and grandfather.
Police also were searching those houses for any electronic storage devices that might have held an electronic diary belonging to Huntsman. Investigators said they were unable to find that diary.
Huntsman was charged last week with six counts of first-degree murder. She has not entered a plea, and her attorneys were not immediately available for comment Monday morning.
Similar documents released Friday show Huntsman couldn’t remember exactly how many dead infants were in her home, telling police the day she was arrested that there were eight or nine babies.
Police said they believe there were only the seven found in the garage, and Huntsman was confused.
During a search of the trailer she shared with her boyfriend in the Salt Lake City suburb of West Valley City, police also found Xanax, marijuana, bongs and a diary, the documents said.
Police have said they cannot comment on whether those items were used by Huntsman because they are still investigating.
Huntsman’s estranged husband, Darren West, found the first baby April 12 while cleaning out the garage of the home he had shared with Huntsman. He told police he found the baby in a small white box covered with electrician’s tape.
The six other bodies were found after police obtained a search warrant for the home. Documents show they were all found wrapped in shirts or towels inside individual boxes in the garage.
During that search, authorities also reported finding bloody leather gloves and women’s underwear in the garage, and infant booties and clothes in the master bedroom. Police took stained sections of a mattress in the master bedroom as evidence.
That day, Huntsman told police in a phone conversation that the first baby found was stillborn and she had been afraid to go to a hospital or police. She did not explain why she was scared.
Huntsman later told officers that from 1996 to 2006, she strangled or suffocated six of the babies and packed them in boxes, separate court documents state. Huntsman said one infant found in the garage was stillborn.
Investigators say they know Huntsman’s motive but have declined to discuss it publicly.
They believe West is the father of the babies. He lived with Huntsman during the decade the babies were killed and was in federal prison on drug charges from 2006 until January. Prosecutors said he is cooperating with the investigation and is not a suspect.
Authorities are awaiting DNA testing to confirm Huntsman and West are the parents of the babies, and to determine the sex of the children. Their causes of death also remain uncertain.
The FBI has been brought in to help because no labs in Utah can analyze the type of DNA taken from the small corpses, police said.